Many people skip Malaga when on holiday in Andalusia, and that’s a shame! Visitors often know Malaga as AGP, or Malaga-Costa del Sol Airport. The place of arrival in Andalusia, to then go onwards to elsewhere in the south of Spain. We advocate a visit to this beautiful city! Malaga has a beach, harbour, historic buildings, lovely parks, large squares and a great culinary heritage. From the airport, the city center can be reached within 12 minutes with the Renfe C1 train connection. The station on AGP is located directly outside the arrivals hall and arrival in the city is at Alameda station, between port and center, in the heart of the city.
Landmarks in Malaga
Castillo de Gibralfaro
It is a bit of a climb, but the view over the city and harbor is more than worth it. For experienced hikers, a visit to this Moorish castle ruin on the Gibralfaro hill with ramparts, over which you can walk, is well worth the effort. For a nice lunch we recommend the restaurant of hotel Parador de Málaga Gibralfaro. The castle is also very easy to reach by car.
This modern, relatively new marina is a delight for shopping enthusiasts. The boulevard has a variety of nice shops and boutiques, and it is nice to watch ‘boats’ from one of the terraces of the restaurants located here. At the top of the harbor is the Spanish version of the Center Pompidou, known for its bigger brother in Paris. Admission for this museum with modern art is about 7 to 9 euros, the price depends on whether you only want to view the collection, or also the current exhibition.
From the Center Pompidou you can walk to Calle Larios, another shopper’s paradise, in about 10 minutes. The route from Muellu Uno to the chic shopping street is most enjoyable if you choose to walk through the park. Do not be alarmed by the parrots, they have a knack for whizzing very quickly and low over the heads of people enjoying the park. We recommend starting your day at Muello Uno purely because there is ample parking here.
“In no other Spanish city have I been as happy and as comfortable as in Málaga”
On the harbor side, between Calle Larios and Calle Molina Lario, is a life-size bronze statue of Hans Christian Andersen, a great lover of this Andalusia city. The wear and tear clearly shows that many people seize the opportunity to take a picture with Hans. To the right of this statue, if you’re facing Hans, there is a luxury hotel on the corner. The roof terrace of this hotel houses an outdoor bar, which is also accessible to non-hotel guests. The drinks here are slightly more expensive than elsewhere in the city, but you won’t get such a special view anywhere else; you can even get a very close look of the roof of the cathedral. Magnificent!
Plaza del Obispo
When you leave the hotel, turn right into the street, after about 100 meters you are on Plaze del Obispo, where you can take pictures of the front of the cathedral. On this square is also the episcopal palace Palacio Episcopal from the 18th century. The late Baroque style is clearly recognizable in the facade due to the many decorations, the symmetry and the use of materials.
In other words, La Santa Iglesia Catedral Basilica de la Encarnación, is considered one of the most valuable Renaissance monuments in Andalusia. The old Moorish city walls and even a mosque used to stand on this spot. But after the conquest of the city in the 15th century, the construction of a Christian house of worship was ordered by Catholic kings Isabel and Fernando.
And so happened between 1528 and 1782. The style could be considered eclectic: Renaissance style predominates, but Gothic and Baroque details can also be seen in this imposing church. The presence of different styles can be attributed to the fact that quite a few artists and architects were in charge of the construction over the years. Enrique Egas, Pedro López, Diego de Siloé, André de Vandelvira, Hernán Ruiz II and Diego Vergara (an Italian artist). In 1782 the construction of the cathedral was abruptly stopped, one of the towers was not even finished at that time. It is suspected that the money ran out, the tower is still unfinished even today.
Not only Hans Christian Andersen is connected with Malaga, also Pablo Picasso is a son of this Andalusian city, but more about him next time.